The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Antilynching apology resolution - 79 sponsors but no roll call

As any fule kno, the Constitution (Art 1(5)(3)) says that
...the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

In the event, S Res 39 of Mary Landrieu managed the total of 78 cosponsors.

The remaining 21 senators are these:

Alexander (R-TN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thomas (R-WY)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Bingaman (D-NM)
Conrad (D-ND)
Reed (D-RI)

(Pausing just to say - Rhode Island?!)

So why wouldn't the supporters of the bill call for a roll call vote? After all, since the resolution is devoid of all practical significance, wouldn't they wish to max out on the symbolic value?

My suspicion is some kind of deal whereby the non-sponsors would refrain from blocking the bill (via a Senate 'hold', say) in exchange for avoiding the embarrassment of a RCV.

(Though, with so many cosponsors, the effect will be slight: the presumption that non-sponsors positively oppose the resolution, rather than failed to sponsor through inadvertence, will be strong.)

The fact that some sort of jiggery-pokery of the sort must have occurred only puts in sharper relief the fact that the whole thing is a charade. Another Terri Schiavo bill.

Who exactly do sponsoring senators they think they are impressing?

And that list of non-sponsors! Including neither Georgia senators but the full Wyoming delegation.

So much wackiness for a piece of legislative fluff. Perhaps someone has the patience to parse it...


Landrieu happily voted for cloture on the bankruptcy bill S 256, as well as the Rice and Gonzales confirmations and the tort reform bill.

Perhaps sponsoring the antilynching resolution was some kind of therapy...

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